FAQ's - Online English Language Courses
What will my course look like online?
Academic English and University English Pathways: Mix of offline activities such as discussion forum posting, and live interactive zoom sessions on course work topics between students and tutors. Zoom sessions can sometimes be one-to-one or small group tutorials in addition to whole class activities.
General English: Lesson 1 and Lesson 2 of the IELTS elective will have varying hours of interactive online lessons each day. Communications Skills will be 1 hour of live interactive online lessons each day. Exact hours will be confirmed by tutors upon commencement of course.
TESOL (TKT): Varying hours of live interactive online lessons each day.
IELTS Preparation: Varying hours of live interactive online lessons each day.
How long will the ELA offer online courses?
English language courses will be offered online until the end of 2020. This will include the following courses:
- Academic English
- University English Pathways
- General English
- TESOL (TKT)
- Business English
- IELTS Preparation
What online platform will I be learning on?
The main platform will be Canvas, the Learning Management System of the University of Auckland. Canvas will be used to post all course materials and announcements, run discussion forums, submit assignments and take tests. The live part of each class will be run via Zoom.
Do I need a student visa to study this course?
You will not require a student visa to join this course however if you are progressing onto further university studies on an English pathway programme i.e. FCertEAP, EPUS or EPPS then we strongly recommend you to still apply or continue with your visa application. This will ensure you have a valid visa for your main university programme studies by the time travel restrictions to New Zealand are lifted.
What will my timetable look like?
Currently for General English, your classes are either from 8.15am to 12.30pm NZT (higher levels) or 1 to 5.15pm NZT (lower levels). For Academic English, your classes are from 1 to 5.15pm NZT for all levels. We are reviewing the exact hours of classes for future intakes and will be taking time zone differences of students into consideration. However you will still study four hours per day. As with face-to-face classes at the ELA, you will still spend a minimum of 20 hours per week studying. As always, additional self-study is recommended in order to make faster progress.
What will my 20 hours of study look like?
You will attend 10 ‘live’ sessions per week (2 sessions with different learning objectives per day). You will have a session 1 foundation skills class and a session 2 elective class, the same as you would face-to-face. You will talk with other international students, practise language and communication skills. Online sessions can be one-on-one or small group tutorials, in addition to the regular class activities. You will talk with other international students, practise language and communication skills.
The format of these classes will be slightly different to regular face-to-face classes in that some of the content will be ‘flipped’. This means that some materials will be provided to you before class time so that you can ‘come to class’ prepared.
Classes will be a combination of live work with the tutor and working in ‘breakout rooms’ with other students. You will be expected to do some independent research and study. Much the same as face-to-face lessons, classwork activities will include language and skills practice tasks, discussion (both live and on written forums), project work, personalised language feedback, regular reviews and assessment.
How much time will be "live" interaction?
Tutors will be ‘online’ for the same duration they would be in a face-to-face class, but they will not be conducting a lecture-style lesson (as they would not be in a face-to-face class). Lessons will generally have an introductory phase to check in with everyone and talk about goals for that class and what that day’s particular lesson will look like. From there, each class will be different; the tutor will set tasks, check back in, divide students into break-out rooms for discussion and collaborative work, give feedback and explanations to the whole class. Higher levels may engage in complex tasks with longer discussion periods, while lower levels will have more, but shorter tasks and discussions.
What technology and other learning requirements will I need?
• Laptop/PC with word processing capabilities and webcam (AE and pathway courses essential)
• Headset/ear phones/mic (for listening/speaking/recording purposes)
• Stable internet connection (recommended speed of 3Mbps)
• Designated (quiet) study space, especially required for completing assignments/assessments
How will I be placed in my level for General English and Academic English?
You will need to do the ELA online placement test. You will also need to submit a writing task and have an individual speaking test via Zoom with a tutor. You will then be classed and emailed all the information you need to log in to your online classes.
How will I be assessed during this online course?
Written projects and essays will remain the same. We are planning to conduct Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking tests in a secured online testing environment.
How will my attendance be recorded and what is the policy?
You must attend all of your classes in your study programme. The ELA expects 100% attendance. If your are absent due to illness, the school must be notified at least 30 minutes prior to class commencing email email@example.com on the day of illness. You may join class up to ten minutes after the start. You are able to join after that, however, will be marked, ‘Absent’ for that class. If you do not not come to class for more than ten (10) class days, without notification to the ELA in writing and approval from the ELA for the absence, the absence will be considered the abandonment of your Study Programme. Your enrolment will be cancelled and tuition fees will not be refunded.
First written reminder: If your attendance is lower than 100%, the Student Support Advisor will issue you with a First Written Reminder, via email, offering support if required.This will also be followed through with a phone call (if you are in New Zealand) to investigate the reasons for absence and offer appropriate support. Your agent/home university, where applicable, will be advised.
Second written reminder: If no improvement in attendance is noted, a Second Written Reminder will be issued by email. Your agent/home university, where applicable, will be advised. Your agent/home university, where applicable, will be advised.
Final written reminder: If no improvement in attendance is noted, a Final Written Reminder will be issued via email.This will also be followed through with a phone call (if you are in New Zealand) to investigate the reasons for continued absence and offer appropriate support. Your agent/home university, where applicable, will be advised.
If after the final warning attendance continues to deteriorate, you will be referred to the ELA Senior Management for further action as the next step.